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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Transportation Pooled Fund Program

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) administers the Transportation Pooled Fund (TPF) Program as a means for interested States, FHWA, and other organizations to partner when significant or widespread interest is shown in solving transportation–related problems. Partners may pool funds and other resources to solve these problems through research, planning, and technology transfer activities.

To qualify as a pooled fund study, more than one State transportation agency, Federal agency, other municipal or metropolitan agency, college/university, or private company must find the subject important enough to commit funds or other resources to conduct the research, planning, and technology transfer activity. If a subject has been studied previously, the new study should provide new information that will complement or advance previous investigations of the subject matter.

Only the FHWA or a State department of transportation (DOT) may initiate and lead a pooled fund study. Local and regional transportation agencies, private industry, foundations, and colleges/universities may partner with any or all of the sponsoring agencies to conduct pooled fund projects.

Foreign Government or Private Organization Participation Requirements

The TPF Program can accommodate international participation. The participation of a foreign government in a pooled fund project is welcomed and considered on a case-by-case basis from countries with a treaty in good standing with the United States. However, contributions to pooled fund studies by such partners may be limited by the rules and regulations of the FHWA. Participation by a foreign government or private organization is permitted if the contribution is not at a level that would affect or appear to affect the outcome of the intended product of the project (research, conference, etc.). Similarly, foreign government or private organization contributions to an FHWA-led project will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Administrative Requirements 

The FHWA or a State DOT will perform or contract the research and will conduct the administrative functions of the study. As the process owner of the study-monitoring activities, the FHWA or State DOT lead must ensure that study partners receive all reports (e.g., annual, quarterly, and final) and deliverables in a timely manner. All reports are to be posted on the pooled fund website to provide broad availability of the reports. Furthermore, study information maintained on the pooled fund website is to be regularly reviewed and updated by the lead agency (FHWA or State DOT) to ensure that the information provided is current. Other operating guidelines include:

  • Approved foreign governments have the opportunity to participate in FHWA led projects in which they find value.

  • The contracting and acquisition laws and regulations of FHWA or the State DOT will govern the project delivery process including such things as consultant selection, contract management, reporting, and Title VI requirements.

  • Foreign government funds are transferred via or Fedwire to FHWA and placed under a FHWA-led Pooled Fund Project. FHWA rules and acquisition procedures guide the contracting and project development.

  • Foreign government participants should have a member on the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for each partner project.

  • Foreign partners should also share in the research results of each project in which they participate.

An interactive TPF web site was launched through the sponsorship of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program. The site provides a centralized information source about the TPF Program for partners as well as the interested public. The website includes program procedures and information about all studies.

Authorized users in the States and FHWA may post study solicitations, make funding commitments, update study records, and view funding reports. Study managers are responsible for updating records as often as necessary to ensure complete information about their studies for their partners and other visitors to the website.